Teaching and Learning Resources from Diane Hawkins

Kent NGfL Robolab Project
2000 - 2001


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Moving on to Inventor Level

As part of the project, Dr Helen Smith was able to come into school to offer her support. Together, we worked with a group of four children (two from my class and two from year 6) to begin working within Inventor Level 3. Click to see the work we covered in that first afternoon.

Icon palette screenshot by kind permission of LabVIEW,a registered TradeMark of National Instruments

The children very quickly learnt how to pick and place icons from the palette and how to string them together. They found they had more autonomy over their work and they were able to backtrack more effectively. They rapidly gained in confidence and were not afraid to experiment. They also enjoyed the activities much more, because it was all their own work!

After this initial Inventor Level session, I decided to try some experiments myself. I introduced Inventor Level control technology to the year 6 children I take for ICT one afternoon a week. We started with some simple programming, such as turning a motor on for 10 seconds and then turning it off, or turning on the motor and then reversing it etc. The children were then asked to create a program that:

1) waits for the touch sensor to be pushed in,
2) rotates the motors on ports A & C to the left for 6 seconds,
3) reverses both motors until the touch sensor is pushed in again.

Most children were able to complete this challenge, although some got carried away and included additional features!
Once the children had tried several short, focussed tasks, I challenged them to revisit the traffic lights they had programmed using Pilot Level last term. I was delighted to find that the majority of the class were able to do this successfully.

I also did much the same with my own Year 4 class, but simplified the tasks and the expectations.

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